All the single ladies — and the married ones, too — were obsessed with Beyoncé Knowles this weekend.
The star’s $20 million thriller nabbed the No. 1 spot with an unexpected $28.5 million — the second biggest opening ever for a Screen Gems film. “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” remains the biggest with $30 million in 2005.
The “Fatal Attraction”-esque movie led the fifth “up” weekend in a row. Total box office revenues are now 17.4 percent up from 2008’s, and attendance is up 15.6 percent.
“Obsessed’s” impressive take proves yet again that films with midsized budgets such as “I Love You, Man,” “Madea Goes to Jail,” “Sunshine Cleaning” and “17 Again” can make a big dent in the box office — a fact smaller studios can take comfort in when “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Star Trek” unspool in the next two weeks.
“This is yet another example of the Screen Gems model of keeping production costs low and marketing the bejeezus out a film for maximum box-office impact,” said Paul Dergarabedian of Media by Numbers. “This formula obviously works time and again for this successful arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”
Beyoncé’s pic benefited from young female audiences who have been a major force at theaters this year. Sony reported that 58 percent of its audience was female and 49 percent was under the age of 25.
Even younger women kept Zac Efron’s “17 Again” alive in the No. 2 spot. The comedy fell 51 percent, but still held strong earning $23.7 million. The drop in ticket sales is in line with a trend of movies like “Hannah Montana the Movie” that debut with enormous box office but fall by 50 percent or more the next week.
New box-office entrants Universal’s “Fighting,” Paramount’s “The Soloist” and Disney’s documentary “Earth” rounded out the top five. “Fighting” was No. 3 with $11.4 million, “Soloist” took $9.7 million and “Earth” made $8 million.
Reps for “Fighting” and the “Soloist” said the films’ performed as they had predicted.
“It’s directly in line with our expectations,” said Tucker Tooley, president of production “Fighting’s” production company Relativity. “It worked to young males as was proved in the exit polls and tracking. We are pleased with the outcome.”
“There’s a really busy schedule between now and august,” Tooley pointed out. “We wanted the movie to have a chance.”
Katie Martin Kelly, Paramount Vantage senior vice president of publicity, said the studio had hoped “Soloist” would score $10 million or in the low teens.
“Historically films that skew older do better across multiple weeks,” she said. “It’s in line with ‘Taken’ and ‘State of Play.’ It’s a good start for the summer."